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From politics and history to volunteering abroad and Arctic treks, the teachers at St John’s know how to inspire and intrigue pupils. The St John’s Library hosts a number of both interesting and topical events throughout the school year, and the two most recent were no exception.
On Wednesday 27 January, the School marked Holocaust Memorial Day with a lunchtime talk by the School’s Head of History, Neil Whitmore. Taking three themes - radicalisation, debates and literature - Mr Whitmore explained to the audience that although we may consider debates surrounding the Holocaust to be familiar, it continues to be important that we consider its background, all those whose lives were affected by the events and that we consider all sides of the debate.
The talk included a fascinating insight into the history of the regime that brought about the Holocaust, and an interesting discussion about recent debates, personal memories of visiting the sites of some of the worst atrocities, and a moving account of meeting a Holocaust survivor. Mr Whitmore concluded by sharing books which had inspired and fascinated him, reading some particularly poignant excerpts and ending with an anonymous, beautiful poem that summed up the entire experience and left us all deep in reflective thought.
On 20 January, pupils and staff were treated to a colourful and creative talk on the world of advertising. English teacher and Surrey Housemaster Nick Johnston-Jones shared his experiences of a previous career in advertising, talking through ‘the 10 best adverts of all time’. Mr Johnston-Jones explained how advertising works, where the ideas come from and how they translate from an idea to a reality.
He spoke about the ‘golden age’ of advertising during the 80s and 90s, and revealed his involvement in some notable and well-known adverts – including how they came to be made, and the advert that inspired him to work in the industry.
Head of Library at St John’s, Louise Ellis-Barrett, said, ‘We are lucky at St John’s to have so many interesting and spirited teachers who enjoy giving up lunchtimes to share their views and experiences with pupils and staff. We look forward to hearing from more of them in the coming terms.’
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